Ambulance Victoria has denied claims by Wodonga-based MP Tim Quilty that an 89-year old woman had a heart attack and was forced to wait 45-minutes for an ambulance to take her 1.1 kilometres to a hospital.
Mr Quilty told Victorian Parliament on Thursday that an ambulance had to come from Tallangatta to take the woman from her GP's clinic in Wodonga to Wodonga hospital.
"This week, an elderly grandmother waited 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive after her heart had stopped beating," he said.
"A 45-minute wait for an ambulance to arrive from Tallangatta in order to take an 89-year-old woman 1.1 kilometres to Wodonga.
"They could have put her in a wheelbarrow and pushed her to the hospital in less time."
But Ambulance Victoria's Hume regional director Trevor Weston said paramedics arrived at the woman's location within 11 minutes.
"We can confirm we received a call to attend an elderly woman at a GP clinic in Wodonga," he said.
"The patient was not in cardiac arrest, as was suggested in Parliament.
"The patient was cared for by paramedics before being taken to hospital.
The patient did not wait 45 minutes without ambulance assistance, as claimed.
"Ambulance Victoria's paramedics provided timely and exceptional care.
"To suggest otherwise is an inaccurate reflection of what occurred.
"We would welcome the opportunity to meet with Mr Quilty to brief him on how we provide care to his constituents and all Victorians."
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Mr Quilty had claimed the woman was lucky to survive because she happened to be in her GP's clinic at the time she had a cardiac emergency, but others in the future may not be so lucky.
"You can order a pizza and have it arrive in less than 30 minutes - any later than that and the pizza is for free," Mr Quilty said.
"So my question for the minister is this: Will patients who die due to unacceptable wait times be eligible for free funerals?"
In the last Victorian Parliament sitting week for 2020, Wangaratta-based MP Tania Maxwell also questioned the Ambulance Services Minister over reports of dangerous increases in ambulance response times.
She asked the minister to outline what specific actions the government would take to improve ambulance response times and ensure the availability of suitably trained paramedics.
"We know that fast response times for code one incidents are critical to patient outcomes," she said.
"These ongoing problems with ambulance resourcing and response times are worrying.
"It's simply not good enough that, in some regional communities, ambulance response times are not meeting the required benchmark."